Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mom and Dad come to visit...




Both my Mom and Dad were finally able to come visit us girls.  Usually, it's Dad who comes to stay while Mom slaves away at her job, working for 'The Man".  My Dad is retired now, so that gives him lots of free time to come and go and get away from the Michigan weather. But us girls don't let him off the hook that easily. Usually we ALWAYS have some project or two to keep him busy or a 'Honey-Do List' a mile long that needs to be taken care of.
But at long last, Mom was able to take some time off work and make a trip down here with Dad. It's been since last July that she was here last and since November that the kids got to see her. It was a long over do visit! The kids were ecstatic to finally be with G'ma and get some good ol' fashion G'ma spoiling!
For the first half of their visit, my parents stayed with my sister Nicole. But we made sure to visit and spend time together as much as possible. In fact, one day to celebrate my sister's up coming birthday, we took a 'Girls Day' and went shopping. I let Cassie play hookie from school and we shopped 'till we dropped!  I ended up buying Cassie a very cute outfit for her school pictures the next day and I got a new outfit myself. We ended the fun day by having lunch at Mai Tai, a Chinese restaurant that was absolutely delish!

Cassie in her new outfit, ready for pictures.......


Finally, it was my turn to have Mom and Dad. First thing I did was treat them to lunch at Jesse's. I took them there to have some Gyro's but Dad ended up ordering an 'Italian Sausage' (no surprise there!) and Mom order......a cheeseburger.  But at least I got to treat them and we had an awesome afternoon together before the kids got home from school.
That Friday was my sister's Birthday, but before the festivities started for that evening, I was scheduled to run popcorn at the school in the morning. Being one to never leave anyone out, I allowed (ok, forced) my parents to come up to the school and pop popcorn with me. They loved it. Both Mom and Dad have an unnatural love for their popcorn and I have to say the school popcorn, when freshly popped is REALLY tasty! They got to get their fill of it and I got extra worker bees out of the deal. Sweet!!
Afterwords, Dad went with my brother-in-law Cory to check out his work and drive some big manly trucks around while Mom and I headed into town to get some Starbucks.

Dad channeling his inner G.I. Joe...

On the way into town, Mom and I kept saying how badly we stunk (from all that popcorn) and my Mom came up with the BEST IDEA EVER. She suggested that we just find someone to wash and style our hair for us. So after a stop at the 'bux, we headed over to Ulta. Luck was on our side and they were able to fit a pair of goofy looking, stinky Mother-Daughters in to get beautiful.

My stylist suggested I go for a "Hollywood Blowout". Not before your dirty minds go to after dark activities or seriously upsetting tummy issues, this is where the stylist dries your hair using a round brush and then leaves the round brush in your hair to cool and then later remove. My hair turned out FANTASTIC. She also parted it on the opposite side. I so wish I got a picture of it. I looked like a Hollywood D-lister wanna be. This is a good thing. Because most of the time, it's more of a J-Hell C-lister.

While we were waiting for our stylist we also learned that a rep from Urban Decay would be there doing makeovers. Mom and I figured, 'Why not?" and after our hair was done, we went and got our make up did as well.
Overall, it was okay. They did a dark green 'smokey' eye on me and a light pink/plum look on my Mom. Afterwords, we both agreed that it would of been much better if she had switched the style on us. Going light on me and dark on my Mom. But it was fun and that was all that mattered.

Here's a couple of Mom that I thought to take.....

Getting some shadow on...


Isn't my Mama BEE-U-T-FUL???!
We also decided it would be awesome to buy some really obscene nailpolish and go to town on our piggies. We ended up getting a sea foam green and a greenish turquoise polish. As soon as we got home, we did our nails and then got ready to head to O'Charley's for my sisters birthday dinner. (By the way, while we were gone my awesome Dad pressure washed my deck for me and cut out gnome parts so I could repair my gnome and Erin's gnome. Who's 'da man? MY DAD!)

Slapping some funky polish on.....


At dinner, the kids were obnoxious (with the exception of Cassie and Cameron) and all of us adults agreed that the next time we decide to do something wild and crazy like this, it'll be sans children. Then to top it all off, in the middle of trying to chew down a super chewy piece of meat from my Black and Bleu, I decided it would be super awesome to bite down on my tongue so hard that I might as well of pierced it. After that point, I could barely eat. My mouth was full of blood, I had tears in my eyes and my Mom thought she should take me to the ER. I sucked it up but Holy Moley! It hurt for 2 whole days!

Cassie doing what she does best...


The 3 J's: Jack, Jason and Justin. Do we have a sick sense of humor or what?


The birthday girl with her BFF Stacy (who flew down to surprise her! What an awesome BFF!)


The 2 C's: Cameron and Cassie.
(Again, we're all sorts of sick and twisted with these similar names.)

Cameron and I at dinner.... (why do I always looking like a flipp'n monkey?!)


The next day, it was the Kure Beach Festival. The weather was seeming to hold off. There was a 30% chance of rain for the day so it was mostly overcast but we were bound and determined to head out there and have a "Good Old Fashion Family Fun Day!" Whether we liked it or not. Which, in fact turned out to be a big NOT.
Okay, granted I woke up on the wrong side of the bed anyway but Jack was SUCH a stinker! He would not listen, was all over the place. I could barely control him and my frustration level was at an all time high! I barely enjoyed the first half of our day there. But after we had lunch (that we all packed so we could have a picnic), things seemed to mellow out. We took the kids down to the beach area and let them play in the surf and sand. It was wicked cold, but the kids were bound and determined to play on the beach and at this point, anything we could do to wear them out and get them to be quiet was good!
Highlight of the day was Mom, Cassie and I getting fitted toe rings (which hurt like a S.O.B to put on!) and getting some funnel cakes! YUM!!

Here's are some pics from our day at Kure Beach...

The boys playing in the kids area.....



A seriously cool pelican just chill'n out on the pier, watching some ladies clean fish, hoping for a nibble. (I was about ready to feed Jack to him!)


Did I mention it was COLD and WINDY???


G'ma and Papa with the grandkids....


Cassie and my Mama...


Sister's and their Mama...


Look how floppy and limp our hair was! It was soooo windy and nasty!

The Beach Boys....

On Sunday, we grabbed Justin and Cameron and headed to the movies to see 'How to Train Your Dragon". SUCH an adorable movie. Probably one of my all time favorite kids movies. Really cute. I walked away saying that I wanted my own dragon. Afterwords, Dad took all the boys back home while us girls headed to Walmart and bought the kids some dragons of their own. It was a good day!

Monday was time for Mom and Dad to head back home. It was wonderful seeing them and I am beyond ready to head home to Michigan to spend the summer there. I love my parents so much and I am so lucky that they can make it down here and have this time with us.




Up next? My brother coming down at the end of May! This deployment is going to FLY by!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

This is what happens when you give your kid your iPhone....

On Monday, all three of my kids had dentist appointments. Jack and Jason had the same hygienist, while Cassie was in the other room with her own hygienist. The rooms were right next to each other, so I would go back and forth to check on them.
Jason was first to get his teeth checked so Jack had to occupy his time in a chair in the room. If you know Jack at all, you know this boy cannot sit still to save his life. So what's any good Mommy to do besides threaten him within an inch of his life? I gave him my iPhone so he could play some of the game apps on there.

There happened to be a time where the boys, more specifically Jason had to wait for the dentist to come in and check his teeth. Well, this said Dentist was in with Cassie so I left the boys to go hear what he had to say about her. When I come back into the boys room, I see Jack is acting very mischievous (what's new, right?) and I ask him what's up. He said he was taking pictures. I ask to see them.

Obviously, Jason was Jack's muse for the day....








 

There was a mini battle waged over this stuff cheetah. I won.
 


And finally b/c he is a BOY and a silly kid, a picture of the hygienists butt. Nice.
 
Word to the wise, giving your iPhone with a built in camera to your monkey of son will result in some interesting pictures.


Picture Day for Cassie

Today is Spring Picture Day for Cassie.

Yesterday, I let Cassie play hookie from school. I had told her towards the end of the semester that if she kept her grades up, I would let her skip school and we'd have a 'Girls Day' and go shopping.  We finally had that chance yesterday when my sister Nicole wanted my Mom to take her shopping for her birthday. I decided that that would be a good time to make good on my promise to Cass and let her skip school. An even better excuse is that she needed a new outfit for her school pictures and with my busy schedule, this would be the best time to do it.

We meet up at Barnes & Noble, got our selves some coffee and pastries and proceed to shop 'till we dropped. Imagine my pleasant surprise that one of the first stores we hit, she finds the perfect outfit. AND the best part, it isn't her 'normal' type of outfit.

I bought her a cute tank dress with a skirt that poofed out just a little bit, black leggings and a cute headband with a bow on it.

Later that day we hit up Old Navy and I got her some flip flops too. Us girls also decided to go to lunch at Mai Tai for some yummy Chinese buffet where Mom treated us all to lunch.

It was a fun filled fantastic day with just us girls. I can't wait to do it again.

Here's Cassie in her awesome new school outfit......








Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ever have one of those days.....

Yes, you can take the blonde outta the girl but not the girl outta the blonde. Case in point: This last weeks Gourmet Club.

My day had been CRAZY busy already. I had a dentist appointment in the morning, that I was asked if I could come in early to. So as I was busy rushing my kids, trying to get them ready for school and trying to get ready myself, I had to fix the dress I was wearing. Actually, I was sewing the cleavage area of this dress so that the 'girls' wouldn't be hanging all out for the world to see.

So it's 8:30am and off I go to take the kids to school and me to the dentist. From there I was going to the luncheon.
I make it through my appointment with just enough time to spare. I tell you, I was rushing all morning long! I pick up my second half (Erin) and we meet another friend, Jill at the house where we were having lunch. As were standing at Jill's car catching up before we go in, I look down and to my HORROR I notice that I STILL had the needle and thread attached to my dress from where I was trying to encase the 'girls' as not to offend anyone.

OH. MY. GOD.

I had actually gone to the dentist like this. I'm praying that it's because I was wearing a trench coat and nobody at the office saw this but JUST KILL ME NOW!

Erin and Jill are hootin' and hollerin' while we're trying to find something that we can use to cut the string and free me from my embarrassment. First Erin tried to use the shear strength of her mighty hands to rip the string but that didn't work. Then we tried car keys. Still no dice. Finally Jill had some toe nail clippers and that worked like a charm.

But this was not to be the end to the marvolous day I was having. Oh no. As we go in, everyone needs to sign in, give our $15 to the luncheon and put a name tag on. Only, I can't find what I did with my $15. Come to find out after digging through my purse, that I DROPPED the stinking check in the ROAD! I do the 'walk of shame' out to the road to pick it up.

Finally, the Pièce de résistance came when while eating our lunch, I was trying to cut through some pork and what happens? I fling a huge pile of food unto my lap. Everyone at the table is laughing and honestly, what can you do but just laugh yourself. I'm sure everyone was thinking, "I'm glad it was her and not me!" Especially the girl next to me who is doing this quiet 'snort-chuckle' and probably calling me a complete I-D-10-T.

At this point I am so done, it's not even funny! I figure it can't get any worse and laugh it off. There's no use trying to impress anyone now and I just let it all go and hope for the best.


So, to anyone looking for a 'Glad it's you and not me moment", enjoy this picture of me in all my sewing glory.....


If you look closely, you can see I'm holding the needle which is still attached to the string, which in turn is still attached to my dress in the cleavage area.


Again, just because I'm now a brunette, doesn't mean I have forgotten what it's like to be blonde.

My David Gray Concert....

This last Friday, I was finally able to go see David Gray in concert. This has been a dream of mine for such a long time. I first heard his music while I was working at Two Peas in a Pot (which is sadly closed now). I had the satellite radio tuned to the 'Coffee House' station. They play mostly 'singer-songwriter' type music. There was just something about his songs that spoke to me and I have been a fan ever since. I can remember a few years back, checking into plane tickets so I could fly out to London to catch a show. Of course, that never happened. But I vowed that I would see him in concert.

Imagine how EXCITED I was when I got 2 tickets to see him on his American Tour for Christmas from Jon!
The plan was of course, for Jon and I to make a date night of it and go see him. But that was around the time that we learned that Jon was definitely headed on deployment and I would have to find someone else to go with.
So there-in laid my deliema. Who would I take? Who even KNOWS who this is? Most of my friends have no idea who he is. Anytime I mentioned his name, I got a 'Who's that?"  But thank goodness for Erin and bless her heart! She said she'd go with me, although she had NO idea who he was at the time. She started listening to his music using her Pandora app on her iPhone, so she could get to know his music. You know you have a really good friend on your hands when they'll go with you to a concert of some person they've never heard of before and then sit and listen to his songs, just because you like them.
Finally the concert rolls around. Erin is moving and had bought a house in the Fayetteville area of NC. Which is about 2 hrs from our home here and an hour and a half away from the venue up in Durham, NC. Her and her husband Perry are busy moving their household goods and this weekend just so happened to work out with their schedule and mine. The kids were on spring break and they (Erin's family) headed up to their new house to start unpacking a few things at a time and get things in order. I was to meet them up there Friday afternoon and then we'd head to the concert and use her house as the middle ground. It was a perfect plan. An added bonus was that her hubby was sweet enough to watch my kids for me so us girls could go have a great night out, and it was in a house that had the bare minimum in it. I am and was so thankful for that!

The concert was FANTASTIC! It was EVERYTHING that I would hope it would be. Erin and I were blubbering fools, screaming, hollering fanatics, dancing and holding hand silly girls - all in one! It was such an enjoyable show and he was so funny and cute with his little British accent. I swear, he is so much more adorable in person! I wish I could of met him.

Oh - do you know that if you yell out "Liverpool", the standard response you'll get is 'Wanker!"? He had the whole audience rolling with that one. Of course he said it with hand motions and if you don't know what that means, Google it. (This is a relativity rated PG-13 blog after all...)

Here are a few pics of my dream come true night. We were sitting in the 2nd row, of section 4, seat 204-205. Not second row this time like No Doubt, but still very close......



Erin and I waiting for the show to begin....



The stage set up before the show....kinda gives you a better idea on where we sat and how close we were.


That's him in the spotlight, opening the show!!!


I was using my iPhone again as a camera (I really need an actual camera), so this was the only decent pic I could get.

Thanks Erin for being my date and although it would of been great to go with Jon, you are the next best thing!!!

PS - if you wanna know my favorite song ever by him, look up 'This Years Love'. Of course that is followed VERY closely by 'The One I Love."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Until next time....

Yesterday, my friends Jill and Renee and I threw a 'Going Away Luncheon" for our favorite girls - Erin and Gia. Both of them will be moving soon. Gia down to Parris Island, SC and Erin over to Fayetteville, NC.
This fun started out with Jill, Renee and I having a few secret meetings to discuss details such as menu and gifts. As a final goodbye gift, Jill and I have been working on a photo book of Erin's and Gia's time here with friends. We sent emails out to everyone to send us any pictures with the girls in them. We were going to give it to them at the party but I mentioned how great it would be to make the going away be the final chapter in the book. Jill suggested that we all have everyone dress in Black and White, so that the picture look FANTASTIC. Which of course, they were. It was a plan! Also, Renee and I went and ordered corsages for the girls to wear on their special day.


Here's Jill and I prepping for the lunch. We had Baked French Toast, Sausage Pinwheels, Ham&Cheese Casserole, Quiche, Fruit Salad, Creme Puffs, Chocolate Cake, and a delish Boston Creme Dessert that Karen brought over. Of course there were Mimosa's, Wine, Sweet Tea, Water and Coffee.




Here are Jilly and I pinning the corsages on to our best girls.

It's no surprise that Gia started getting a bit frisky....

Why do they have to make these so hard to pin? Geez O'Pete's!
 



The Guests of Honor with their corsages....
 
Kissy-kissy!
 

From L to R: Jennie (who we affectionately call J-Bunny), Heidi (ho!) and Cathy partaking of the yummy goodness!


Me, Erin and G all digging in.


The whole gang.


Baby George (so cute!), StacEy and Erin.


Gia with StacEy and Georgie...
 
J-Bunny just loves it when people invade her personal space. So we do it whenever we can!
 
Karen (Kiki) and her GORGEOUS flower she made, complete with vintage brooch. You can find her designs for sale here: The Bead Babe.
 
Whatever someone was saying must of been dang interesting!

Kiki and G....
 

G and Jill.....
 

G, Erin and I.....
 
My BffF....




Jill and Erin....


Hanging around...eating....chatting...what we do best.


'English' Ellen telling us some good tales in her AWESOME British voice of hers. I don't care what she has to say, I could listen to her talk ALL day.





Gia loves my Baked French Toast so much she couldn't hardly wait to dig in!!!!



JBunny.....


Kiki.....

Cathy....


Heidi.....

Trouble makers: Heidi, JBunny and I.


JBunny, Erin and G....
 
Curl Sisters: Renee and G. When you put them together, you just don't know where one curl starts and the other ends.
 

Gia, invading JBunny's space again. (This time, I think she likes it though!)
 

G and I....
 
G and Kiki....
 

Jill and Erin.....
 


The Fab Five!



And finally, a few group shots of us all.....



Blowing kisses.....

Striking our 'Carol' pose..... 
('Carol' is our code word for the type of wife who wears her gloves and pearls everyday. Who, whenever she sees or hears anything inappropriate says, "Oh my!" "Well, I never!")

As for the party, we kept everything upbeat and light. No tears allowed! But I for one, had a moment where we were all sitting around chatting and thought, "This is it. This is the last time we'd all be together like this."
Military life is hard. You constantly have to put yourself out there to make new friends and when you find those friends, you become such good friends because you know that you all only have so much time together. I have been BLESSED to have these women in my life. In a few months, this picture above will be cut down by about half. Most of them will be moving on to different chapters in their lives. My friendships are bittersweet. But I am so thankful for them. Gia is leaving this Thursday but luckily, I'll still have my Erin for a few more weeks. 

So this is NOT goodbye, but an 'until next time'.....

Love you all.